International Initiative Registration Service (IIRS)

(Adrien Labaeye) #1

From my knowledge I bet there are networks interested by such widget.
This is exactly what TransforMap is in its broadest sense is here to do: pool energies to build all the open source infrastructure around producing, managing, exchanging, updating geo-data.

Chris Wells (@djwesto) – Folk Labs
Transition Network checking in
Unix Philosophy
Chris Wells (@djwesto) – Folk Labs
(Thomas Kalka) #2

@SamRossiter this is more ore less a shared goal of transformap.

What kind of backend are you planing to use for the service ?

(Sam Rossiter) #3

So the idea is that we use a Wordpress or Drupal site as the backend.

The IIRS is currently a Wordpress plugin, It is a form & frontend that does some geocoding using the Mapquest API. It writes the data to the Wordpress database. A Drupal version is also planned.

For example we are working with the National Hub in Belgium: they will install the widget on their Wordpress site. The data will be written to their site.

The next stage of the project is to write the API which will allow us to scrape the data from Belgium and other national hubs and aggregate it on our global site.

A very alpha frontend example is here: (eg still using Google map to present the data)

I’ll try and get our lead developer in here to contribute as he’ll have a much better understanding of where we are…



(Annesley Newholm) #4

hi Sam!

Yes. Actually the Drupal Module version is also fully functional. And it has a JavaScript widget as well.

The Framework plugins do store data locally. In phase #2 they will register themselves with a central server and then sync data globally. This will be available in several XML Schemas.

feel free to play and comment back to us here :smile:

(Michael Maier) #5

Do you have any plans to use a geospatial enabled backend anytime in the future? When having a lot of POIs (which we all hope so, don’t we?) - lets say more than 1 million, databases without geo-indexing will be very slow serving only the part needed for display on a user’s map.

We would be very interested in working together for such an API!

Aggregating different datasources on maps is also one of TransforMap’s goals. But we plan to have different databases only for different kinds of data (events, POIs, media, …). I would strongly suggest to make every database global. E.g. for geodata, we use the OpenStreetMap database. This reduces much of the administration effort, and minimises the chance of databases silently disappearing when a project is abandoned.

Have you thought of global databases yet?

(Thomas Kalka) #6

It would be nice to have a couchdb compatible api.


  • easy replication
  • easy web-api
  • geocouch

(Sam Rossiter) #7

Hi @species

So this is emerging work, we don’t yet have a clear plan of how this is going to work in detail, hence this conversation… But yes we are in principle very interested in collaborating on the API work.

I’ll just quickly outline the structure of Transition as I see it as it might be useful.

Projects: A community garden/energyfarm/whatever organised by people who are part of a Transition Initiative

Initiatives: A autonomous group of people in a specific geographic location who come together to do Transition. Our primary organisational unit. Often based around a town, city or village.

Hubs: Groups of initiatives that come together based on geographic location to support each other. Often based on country, but increasingly regional groupings too.

Transition Network: The sum total of all Transition activity. Also the name of A UK based charity that exists to support the Transition movement.

One thought is that we would copy the Transition Initiative records from the Belgium/German/etc national hub site to our main database on

We are then interested in this ‘cannonical(ish)’ set of data on Transition Initiatives being automatically shared to OSM/Transformap.

We might then embed the Transformap map on as the interface for users to access the Transition Initiative data.

It’s important for us to minimise the work of keeping our data up to date, so ideally we’d automate the whole thing.

That is: If the record is removed or amended on the Belgium hub site, that change automatically propagates to, which in turn propagates the change to the OSM/Transformap record.

We are keen to move from our current centralised model where all data must be entered and updated directly on for both philosophical and practical reasons.

Philosophically; we are a decentralised network and that should be reflected in our information structures.

Practically: local Transition initiatives have relationships with their national hubs, the interface appears in the local language & from a usability point of view it’s the natural ‘touch point’ for the user.

I don’t think we’d yet be ready to completely abandon our database at and just use records kept in OSM as we also have various contact details we keep associated with each record. These email contact details probably shouldn’t be in plain text on the internet.



(Thomas Kalka) #8

I like this thinking. The tools we use should follow the patterns of hope :wink:

It would be nice to have a collection of them.

(Jon Richter) #9

@gandhiano Why haven’t both of us not been part of this conversation, yet?

(Thomas Kalka) #10

@SamRossiter I justed browsed a little through the IIRS code and saw you are using google maps.
I remember @species warning against using it to collect geo-coordinates, which will impose a hurdle for imports into OSM.

(Sam Rossiter) #11

Hi @toka all the geolocation stuff is done using The google map is just used as a temporary presentation layer, so the data is uncontaminated.

I’ve been playing with which seems pretty decent. I’ll prod @Annesley_Newholm and see if we can have a play with using that as the presentation layer instead…



(Gualter Barbas Baptista) #12

Would someone be available to present the IIRS (and possibly the development plan/strategy of the Transition Network] at the Budapest Degrowth InfraHack?

We would probably be interested in using/extending this to work with the German Transition and CSA networks, as well as the international degrowth network.

Ideal would be Monday, October 12th, but we can also pack it on another day.

@Annesley_Newholm you are just next door, what about it?
Or @SamRossiter ? As a last resort we can also rely on an online conference to get this exchange going.

Looking forward for your replies.

(Sam Rossiter) #13

Hi I’ll drop Annesley a mail to see if he can come along. It would be great to see how we could collaboratively extend this.
Annesley being the main developer of the IIRS, is an ideal person to attend, and would be a great asset to explore and discuss possibilities of the IIRS Plugin.
We would however request that any thoughts on extending the plugin for transition hubs be feed back so that we can all discuss the impact that any extenstions being discussed would have on the current roll out of the plugin that is currently in effect.

We’d hope that we can work together to make it a useful general purpose tool for geo data capture, without forking the project, and at the same time make sure it continues to work for Transition Network.

We are interested on ideas of how the backend could be redeveloped to give adminstrators the ability to use the tool in a way that fits with the organisations requirements. eg. Some sites may want to capture CSA locations, Community gardens and Transition Initative regsitrations in which case they would check those three boxes in the backend? Some site owners may just want to capture Transition Initative registrations, so they would just check that box?

Then working on a JSON/ GEORSS interface to let Transition Network/ Transformap/ Other interested parties grab the data?

We are also very keen to see how a standardisation of datafields could be integrated using such technologies as JSON-LD and/or RDF/etc so that one plugin can be used to create meta data that would be valuable to all.

I’ll get in touch and see if he can make it…



(Sam Rossiter) #14

@Annesley_Newholm seems to be temporarily uncontactable. I’ll update you when I hear from him.



(Jon Richter) #15

We had the same impression in Budapest.

Wordpress Plugin Idea by Toka